Coulthard: Hamilton "truly relishing" Verstappen F1 title fight

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton is “truly relishing the challenge” he faces against Max Verstappen in the drivers championship.

Coulthard: Hamilton "truly relishing" Verstappen F1 title fight

The 13-time grand prix winner and 2001 world championship runner-up said he has seen “a different Lewis in this challenge” and believes the Mercedes driver is “so motivated” by the title fight.

Red Bull leads the constructors championship with 286 points ahead of this weekend’s race at Silverstone, leading from Mercedes by 44 points, while Verstappen’s 182 points in the driver standings put him 32 clear of Hamilton.

Coulthard, who is also the W Series Advisory Board Chairman, also said he believes Verstappen and his team have “extended” Hamilton’s F1 career.

Speaking ahead of the British Grand Prix, which he won twice, Coulthard said: “I think that’s a great question, because what I’ve observed, if you look at the last couple of races which he’s lost, he’s been much calmer and much more magnanimous in defeat than we’ve seen.

“Sometimes when he was beaten by Nico when they were team-mates, he would be a bit chippy, he would be a bit dummy in the dust and a bit spoiled child, multi-millionaire racing driver.

“I’ve not seen that. What I’ve seen is an elegance, I’ve seen a confidence, I’ve seen a different Lewis in this challenge.

“So therefore, I think that he is truly relishing the challenge. Of course he wants a title, who doesn’t? Of course he wants to win, who doesn’t? But he’s done so much winning.

“I think that the fact that he’s signed up for another two years, he is just so motivated by the challenge.

“I think that Max Verstappen and Red Bull this year have extended his career, I truly believe that, because if he doesn’t win it this year, I don’t think he’ll go off into the winter crying his heart out.

"I think he’ll go, ‘you know what, as a team we didn’t deliver, how can we do better next year?’

“I just think he’s such a pure-bred racer - the way he’s been brought up by his family, total focus, total dedication.

"I think he loves it, I truly do, and I think the fact that he’s not winning right now is extending his career.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Alessio Morgese

Coulthard also said it feels “feels a little bit like Mercedes have to deliver this weekend, it feels like Lewis has to deliver this weekend” after Verstappen won the past three races – one in France and the double-header in Austria.

Read Also:

He said: “I’m really curious, because Toto obviously has a belief in the performance of the car.

“The team have done so much analysis and understanding of where their cars are performing well relative to the competition that they will have run the sims and will know reasonably accurately, taking out weather and various other factors and variables, where they can expect to perform.

“So it feels a little bit like Mercedes have to deliver this weekend, it feels like Lewis has to deliver this weekend, because Max, he’s not scared of anyone, he is a natural born winner, he is on the crest of a wave right now, and he’s not going to be fazed by lots of Union Jacks.

“But I do think that Lewis is someone who does respond in a kind of Nigel Mansell way to home support and truly believes it can lift him.

“I think it’s a really important weekend for the championship.”

The third round of the 2021 W Series season at Silverstone is live on Channel 4 this Saturday from 13:05 BST.

shares
comments
F1 British GP sprint qualifying race: What time is it, how to watch it & more

Previous article

F1 British GP sprint qualifying race: What time is it, how to watch it & more

Next article

Stroll: Aston Martin will do ‘whatever it takes’ to be champions

Stroll: Aston Martin will do ‘whatever it takes’ to be champions
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021